New shop celebrates gardens

2019-06-04 06:00
Colourful items found in the shop.

Colourful items found in the shop.

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, in collaboration with Tourvest Destination Retail, officially reopened their revamped gift shop on Thursday 23 May.

The Kirstenbosch Gift Shop, which is situated in the visitor’s centre, Entrance 1, celebrates the Cape floral kingdom and the talents of local artisans.

This exciting new retail experience is a celebration of all things botanical, and showcases the unique work of a myriad of talented local South African artists, designers and craftsmen – over 85% of the suppliers are sourced locally.

Beautiful bath and body products, homewares, African crafts and souvenirs, children’s gifts, men’s and ladies clothing, assorted accessories and edible gifting are sold here.

Visitors to the new shop can look forward to purchasing the work of South African ceramic artists Hennie Meyer, Gemma Orkin, and Lisa Firer, as well as handcrafted ceramics from Potterseed and Dragana. Daya Heller’s resin fynbos drops, botanical print fabrics from Ardmore and Sharon Boonzaaier are just a few more examples of what graces the shelves in this exciting new retail experience. Other proudly South African suppliers to the new Kirstenbosch gift shop include Rosehip, who makes beautiful botanical printed raincoats, and umbrellas; Peppertree, and Mongoose, bags and accessories among others.

“The Kirstenbosch gift shop’s collection of merchandise is specially curated to appeal to both our local and foreign visitors’ interests and tastes, and the shop provides an incredible platform upon which to place the best products South Africa has to offer,” explains Sarah Struys, events and tourism manager for Kirstenbosch.

“We are passionate about sourcing and developing unique products made in South Africa that reflects both our South African and our Cape Floral Heritage – thereby helping to stimulate the local economy,” says Struys.

Philippa Hancock, who sources the items for the Kirstenbosch gift shop, says that each item has a story to tell. “In South Africa, we are so fortunate to have an incredible wealth of creative talent. We have selected and showcased a range of products for the gift shop that tells the story of the amazing beauty of our Cape floral heritage. The items are chosen for their high quality and their uniqueness. Our range is extensive in terms of variety and we hope to appeal to the widest possible audience.”

The shop had to be revamped to give it new life. “The previous gift shop at Kirstenbosch had been operational for many years and the shop fittings had become tired, whilst specific categories of merchandise required more space. Most importantly, many visitors to the Garden walked past the store as it lacked visibility,” explains Allison Graham, chief executive officer (CEO) of Tourvest Destination Retail who designed and operates the gift shop, adding: “We wanted to improve the impact of the store through design, layout and colour, while enhancing the retail experience for a wider target audience. We also wanted to bring the ‘outside in’ and this became a major focus with the new design.”

One of the main features of the new store is a shaded covering with laser cut leaf patterns forming a virtual tree canopy. This tree canopy is the start of the visual journey through the store space and runs all the way through the shop – dispersing into leaves, birds, butterflies and insects which depict the seasonal changes in the garden as a “story cloud”.

“We are immensely proud of this world-class retail store that celebrates the unique beauty of the Gardens, translated into extraordinary merchandise that is presented in a magnificent space. For me, the new gift shop evokes a sense of absolute amazement at the natural beauty we are surrounded by in Kirstenbosch and echoes a true sense of place.

“The store is filled with natural light and a palette of delicate, muted shades. It is a gentle space where customers have room to breathe and move from department to department without restriction, allowing them to enjoy a shopping experience unlike any other,” says Graham.

V The shop is open every day of the year from 09:00 to 18:00 in winter and 09:00 to 19:00 in summer.

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